Workers of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in Ondo State, on Tuesday, protested and expressed bitterness over an alleged shoddy verification exercise currently going on in the commission.
The workers, who chanted solidarity songs, also called on the Federal government to immediately sack the Commission’s Director General, Chris Onyeneman for allegedly being partial in the ongoing retrenchment and recruitment exercise in the commission.
The workers were led by the executive members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and members of the Association of Senior Civil Servants in the state.
The protesting workers, who blocked entrance to the Commission’s office in Akure, carried placards bearing various inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions read: “NIMC is dying”, “We say no to retrenchment of workers”, “We demand justice”, Onyeama must go”, among others.
Speaking with journalists shortly after the protest, the TUC chairman in the state, Soladoye Ekundayo, berated the NIMC Director General, Chris Onyeama of using untransparent verification exercise to retrench workers and consequently employing his own people.
Mr. Ekundayo, who is also the State Secretary of the Senior Civil Servants Association of Nigeria, said that three workers have just resumed at the Commission’s office in Akure at the expense of those retrenched workers.
He narrated how the leadership of the union met with NIMC management for about 14 times but effort to have a peaceful resolution, did not see the light of the day.
In his words: “The Commission’s DG commenced verification exercise to look into the certificate of workers, and our union met with him that we are not against the verification exercise but it should be transparent.
“Unfortunately, the DG did otherwise, and when we inquired on his action, he complained that some of the workers of the commission were promoted without meeting up with the criteria and requirements, especially on the certificate.
“Playing hanky panky, the Commission laid off some workers and brought in their own people to the Akure. Already, three people have resumed in the office, while 30 of the workers had been laid off.”
He advised the Commission’s DG to immediately obey a court judgment that ordered him to carry the workers along, including members of the union during the verification exercise.
Speaking to Journalists, the Chairman of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of the NIMC, Mr. Gbenga Abileko, disclosed that 33 workers of the Commission were affected by the retrenchment exercise.
Daily Times gathered that there was a mild drama during the protest as the workers tried to molest Mr. Abileko and accused him of being a stooge to the management of the commission, even to the extent of being allegedly promoted three times, hence his incapacitation of fighting for workers interest.